PAD is the latest addition to Mine Site Technology’s ICCL, worn by miners. And in the world’s most hostile working environment, it’s the main thing that stops bodies from being pinned or crushed by heavy machinery. But the technology behind it is where the magic and mastery takes place. Ruggedized and highly visible yet unobtrusive, Tiller’s incarnation of the ICCL delivers reliable, long-lasting power to a number of essential miner devices.
‘Off the bat, it sounded like a pretty simple retrofit,’ says Robert Tiller, ‘but, with industrial design, everything that at first seems simple reveals, when you scratch beneath the surface, deeper layers of complexity.’ He adds: ‘When we started working with Mine Site, the design brief was to make a lightweight, longer-lasting battery pack for the cap lamp to run off. What we learnt is that miners need power for several devices and so we came up with a new hybridised casement that was tough and versatile.’
Working in confined spaces, knowing what’s moving about in the immediate vicinity, without necessarily seeing or hearing it, is as critical as having a powerful cap lamp. But all electronic devices need mobile power, and Tiller Design, by squeezing its initial brief to the very limits, ended up giving Mine Site more than had been thought possible.
‘We created patches with take-off points running off the PAD, something that worked out well because, three years later, Mine Site wanted us to create a two-way radio that could also be powered by it. This was easy enough to do because, at the point of research and consultation–and from, at the time, an imaginary future perspective–the team had already reverse engineered everything, making sure the ability to power additional devices was there.’
As resilient as the miners using it, the Tiller designed ICCL was made with the working environment in mind and exceeded all regulatory requirements when it came to hardiness, including withstanding high drops, flammability, strain, static discharge, thermal differentials and ingression protection. ‘The thing’s got to be fit for purpose. We made it super-fit,’ says Tiller, with a smile. Fitment of the PAD is like a glove for ICCL. Discrete locking mechanisms secure the PAD within it, and a cable carrying power, battery charge status and alarm signals is connected directly to the power take-off port. Then another dedicated cable drives power and alarm signals to the headpiece. The personal alert device detects the strength of magnetic fields coming from generators on machines, forewarning of impending danger. Because the magnetic field strength is proportional to distance, zones can be set on the device, and when those are exceeded it sets off audio and visual alarms, which is what saves lives.’
Today, many thousands of miners rely on the Tiller designed ICCL for safety, and it’s this ability to ‘see’ around corners and through objects, combined with enhanced communication that gives them added confidence when working in one of the most hostile working environments.
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